An RPG released originally on the SNES back in the nine-five, Crono Trigger has become a classic and fan favourite, and in my opinion, one of the best RPGs ever. With an intriguing story taking 30+ hours to complete, side quests, excellent character development, and multiple endings, this game was truly ahead of its time, and still competes with the RPGs of today for your hard earned time and money.
In a story that feels like it could be an entire season of the BBC Sci-Fi show Doctor Who, Crono travels through time on a rescue mission. Marle (who is really Princess Nadia in disguise) is accidently flung through time when she tries out Lucca’s teleportation device at the Millennial Fair, and Crono springs into action, following her through a “time gate”. Quest after quest, more and more “time gates” are opened, and slowly but surely, the real story is revealed, and the real challenge is presented – save the world! Because, you know, no game has ever had that plot before… Without spoiling too much, I will say that it adds some interesting plot twists here and there that you don’t often find in games anymore. It really does keep you compelled, and like me, I’m sure you’ll be saying “just one more dungeon before bed” more than once.
The music in the game is just as moving as the scores from the SNES Final Fantasy games, and it adds to the game an atmosphere that I find nearly impossible to replicate in games nowadays. Partly scored by Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy Fame, and Yasunori Mitsuda who did scores for Secret of Mana and Romancing Saga II, the music in this game is the right mix of melodic and energetic, giving the right amount of intensity to the scenes needed.
The battle control system also borrows from Final Fantasy, using the Active Time Battle system, giving time bars to your party and the enemies (albeit invisible on foes), meaning the faster characters get a chance to attack first, rather than everything just being turn based like in the games predating Chrono Trigger. What set this game’s battles apart from others was the use of combos. When two party members had learned the correct “techniques”, they could combine them and perform a “dual tech”, as long as their time gage was full, as well as having enough MP. These “dual techs” would hit for big damage, and would sometimes even combine some of the 4 elements associated with the characters: fire, water, light and darkness. These techniques, both single and dual, could hit 1 enemy, all of them, or perform and AoE, or Area of Effect attack. This provides a great deal of depth and strategy in how to fight each battle, and even more so when fighting bosses.
The graphics of this game may look a little dated now, but they were pretty impressive back in the day (except for the prehistoric era – its over world looks like hot garbage). The sprites are well detailed, the colours are lush, and there’s a lot going on in the screen, whether you notice it or not. Some battles have to turn off the fog filter from the dungeon because there’s too many things to process while you use a technique in battle.
As I said before, this game originally dropped for the SNES back in the ’95, but it came out on the OG PS with Final Fantasy IV as a collection in ’99. Since then, it’s also released on the DS (which is what I’ve been playing), PSN so you can download it onto a PS3, the Wii’s virtual console, and also iOS and Android operating systems. So do yourself a favour and pick up this game. It is very much worth it.
Biographical Information obtained from http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Chrono_Trigger_Credits.html
Boxart obtained from http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Chrono_Trigger